By: Elvira Visser
Sometimes it is good to get a first impression of a band by seeing them live. Some bands however you need to hear before you see them. I think with these 2 bands you just have to see them to get the best impression. For me this was the first time I would see both bands and I liked them a lot so I decided to go see them again, while they were still in The Netherlands.
Trail of Tears (Norway) came to the Netherlands for a little mini tour with Scenario II (the Netherlands). They played at 3 venues here; for Trail of Tears a try-out for their up coming USA tour.
Scenario II can be best described as a melodic death/trash metal band. Maybe people know them as Aura, because in 2005 they changed their name into Scenario II. Later that year Michel (ex Cirith Corgor) became their singer.
Scenario II had to open this mini tour in Bibelot, Dordrecht. There was little audience inside the venue when they started to play, but in no time they attracted the people who gathered around the bar to the stage.
Something that could be better at their performance are the talks in between, it seemed a bit stiff, unknowing what to say. At the end of their performance the audience had grown and you saw fists in the air and screaming when the guitarist played an impressive riff.
The band said a word of thanks to their guitar player Dirk and their drummer
My personal feeling was that the atmosphere and looks of the venue Bibelot gave their songs a bit more…it was the right setting. Although the venue looks a bit gothic with pillars inside you would think Trail of Tears would be best at place.
Most people came to see Trail of Tears and although I thought the people in the audience were not frozen statues anymore, Trail of Tears had to prove themselves to get the crowd going at Bibelot. With a brand new line-up they entered the stage. They had only 3 rehearsal sessions before this gig in this line up and nerves could be seen Friday at Bibelot but they found a way to hide them or they just disappeared on Sunday at Dynamo, Eindhoven. It just have to be said that this line up perform marvellous powerful songs, especially when knowing that Endre Moe (Cutthroat and Dimension F3H) only joined 10 days before the gig.
With this new tour former vocalist Cathrine Paulsen returned in the line up. Where Kjetil Nordhus had taken over Cathrine’s vocals she took over his now she returned. The song “Deceptive Mirrors” has another female vocalist: Emmanuelle Zoldan on a sample/hard-disk and I think it was good Cathrine was not singing this part. It was a bit emotional and when Cathrine joined the song after Emmanuelle I think it made the song stronger and broaden the contrast. Ronny said about this sample: “it is a tribute to Emmanuelle, since she’s almost whispering the words and it’s so emotional. Catherine could do it, we also tried to let them sing together during rehearsals, but this was just the best for these lines…”
My personal opinion is that they really sounded as a band both nights. Like they have been playing for ages together, maybe some minor mistakes on Friday but that was all. For me Cathrine’s voice sounds great next to Ronny’s profound screaming. What made me watch the band is definitely Ronny on stage. At some points his glare in his eyes just seemed to catch you and keep your attention, if not he asks the crowd to clap or just claim their attention. To me a very powerful character on stage. At the bibelot gig I thought that Cathrine could move a bit more, which she did at Dynamo but still think she can do more on stage. At some points she gets herself going and then there is something theatrical and elegant that comes over her, while she watches the audience and smiles to them.
They played most songs from “A New Dimension of Might” and their last album “Existentia”. What was missing live when performing the song “Ecstatic” was the church choir sound. It gives this song a special twist. Trail of Tears have released 5 albums but it has to be said that their songs do not sound the same. Maybe it has something to do with the 2nd vocalist changing but it keeps the songs different. They add little different things into their songs like with the song “Denial and Pride”. This was the song that got most stuck in my mind after their gig on Friday. In this song a high keyboard riddle is present and maybe gives this song a more electric feel without loosing the original Trail of Tear sound.
A real bummer for both bands was the audience on Sunday. So few, which was not because of the bands, but more due unclear promotion. I myself had to ring the venue to ask if they played that Sunday, because the website said on different pages: nothing or cancelled. But both bands decided to go for it anyway, I mean there were still people. And I think the people who were there really enjoyed both bands as they played slick sets and gave their best.